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Friday, April 17, 2015

Baker Recognized for Drug Overdose Awareness, Prevention Efforts

Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) was recently presented with a Partnership in Excellence Award from Jim Kockler, Potter County Human Services administrator, on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of County Drug and Alcohol Administrators (PACDAA) for his work on legislation to create an enhanced prescription drug monitoring program, which is now law.
Receives Excellence in Partnership Award for work on state’s prescription drug monitoring program

HARRISBURG – Rep. Matt Baker (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) was recently recognized for his efforts in tackling the growing prescription drug abuse epidemic sweeping the nation with an award from the Pennsylvania Association of County Drug and Alcohol Administrators (PACDAA) for his work on legislation signed into law that creates an enhanced prescription drug monitoring program in Pennsylvania.

“As chairman of the House Health Committee, I understand the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Pennsylvania and across the country,” said Baker. “I was happy to work with my colleagues in both the House and Senate to get legislation signed into law that will help us address this issue head on and save lives.”

The new law expands the state’s prescription drug monitoring program to include schedules II through V controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed in Pennsylvania. The database helps improve patient care and prescribing practices, uncover drug diversion, and identify “doctor shopping.”

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs in the United States, following marijuana. New studies also reveal that Pennsylvania ranks seventh in the nation in the number of drug overdose deaths, most of which involved prescription drugs. In fact, drug overdoses now surpass the number of deaths each year from automobile accidents in Pennsylvania.

Baker said nearly all 50 states at this point have in place some type of prescription drug monitoring system that will eventually lead to the sharing of information across state borders. That would enhance tracking of those who live along the borders who may use doctors and pharmacies in two states to feed their prescription drug habit.

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